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Bridge Construction over the Chacao Channel Case Study


An article titled The Challenge of Constructing a Bridge over the Chacao Channel talks about a project of the government to build a rather large bridge. The article specifies the problems that may arise when building such a bridge because the area is very susceptible to all kinds of influences from weather and naturally occurring phenomena such as earthquakes.

The article starts out with identifying the location of the future bridge. The Chacao channel is of particular importance because it separates the mainland from the Chiloe Island. It is mentioned that the population of the island is considerably low, only 130,000, but it is noted that the population is growing due to the developments in the area. The ferry service that is used to transport people and cars is becoming inefficient because of the increased traffic. The government of Chile has proposed the project as far back as 1999, and now it is being seriously detailed. The article does a good job naming some of the problems that might arise when building and maintaining the bridge. These include heavy winds, possible earthquakes, significantly large tides, the conditions of the grounds which might cause difficulties and strong water currents. All of this requires specific compromises and engineering which will combine several types of bridges into one.

Then, the article goes into more details about the different natural influences on the bridge. The earthquake possibility is one of the primary challenges because it has major effect on the stability of the ground and the size of waves generated by the earth’s movement. A historical even of 1960 is brought up as an example when an earthquake of 8.5 magnitude caused waves as large as 30 meters high and resulted in a lot of damage. Even though there is a great possibility for this occurrence to take place again, it is noted that the location of the bridge will be a safe distance away, 100 to 200 kilometers from the source. Further, it gives direct specifics about the type of the earthquake, as it is a subduction type, so the duration will be longer than usual. Unfortunately, the article does not go into detail about explaining the particular nature of a subduction earthquake, mechanisms that come into play and what exactly happens during such instability. The wind problem is also mentioned, but it is clearly not given a serious consideration because it is not of severe strength and does not last for long periods of time.

The article then focuses on the specific type of a bridge that might be built. It offers some graphics of the suspension bridge, as well as a modified version of a multi-span cable bridge. Most likely, there will be a boxed frame which would allow for greater stability. Overall, the article does a good job explaining the problems and the mechanical works of the bridges. The technical part of the article might seem a little hard to understand for a person who has not had education in such fields. The specific numbers and ratios are not really explained and at times, it is unclear what the specific relation between the numbers and the design of the bridge is.

Even though it might seem technical, it is well written and gets the attention of the reader. The project is obviously very extensive, so further details would be helpful.

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IvyPanda. (2020, August 22). Bridge Construction over the Chacao Channel. Retrieved from https://ivypanda.com/essays/bridge-construction-over-the-chacao-channel/

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"Bridge Construction over the Chacao Channel." IvyPanda, 22 Aug. 2020, ivypanda.com/essays/bridge-construction-over-the-chacao-channel/.

1. IvyPanda. "Bridge Construction over the Chacao Channel." August 22, 2020. https://ivypanda.com/essays/bridge-construction-over-the-chacao-channel/.


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IvyPanda. "Bridge Construction over the Chacao Channel." August 22, 2020. https://ivypanda.com/essays/bridge-construction-over-the-chacao-channel/.

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IvyPanda. 2020. "Bridge Construction over the Chacao Channel." August 22, 2020. https://ivypanda.com/essays/bridge-construction-over-the-chacao-channel/.

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IvyPanda. (2020) 'Bridge Construction over the Chacao Channel'. 22 August.

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